Bob Marley - Vinyl Collectors Edition

Bob Marley – The Complete Island Recordings set for a 25th September release date.

Just when you thought that nothing more could be squeezed from Bob Marley’s legacy, a new behemoth of a vinyl package is on the way.

The Complete Island Recordings, Collector’s Edition will include 11 LPs, a 70th anniversary slip mat and two photos in glassine envelopes, all packaged in a unique metal box set, limited edition, individually numbered and lined with velvet and hinged to emulate a zippo lighter!

The albums included in the set are (all 9 studio albums recorded for Island Records and two live albums) Catch A Fire, Burnin’, Natty Dread, Live!, Rastaman Vibration, Exodus, Babylon By Bus, Kaya, Survival, Uprising & Confrontation. Not sure why they didn’t include Legend as well just to finish it off.

As befitting a definitive box set the LP’s faithfully replicate the original pressings, Live! will include the original poster, Exodus features the original gold metallic jacket with embossed lettering, Babylon By Bus features the die-cut cover with colour printed inner sleeves showing through.

All records will be pressed on 180g heavyweight audiophile vinyl, cut from new 24bit/96k sources. And for all you digital hounds free ‘Back To Black’ mp3 redemption codes will be also be included.

Early indications are that the ‘Metal Box Collectors Edition’ will come in at a whopping £450! Although there is a cheaper version without some of the bells and whistles for a less eye watering £150. For those of us who can’t afford either box set all LP’s will be re-released individually as well.

So it’s time to start convincing the wife or husband that you need one of these in the house!

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Disappointing that these LP’s will be mastered from digital sources even if it is at 24/96. Would have been much better and a true “audiophile” approach to have mastered the vinyl using the original master tapes with an all analogue mastering and cutting chain.
    The whole point about vinyl replay that many people seem to miss,it is not the vinyl itself that makes vinyl sound so good, it is the fact that it is meant to be an analogue means of music production. Digital audio is a by product of the computer and data storage industry and was never originally intended as a music replay medium unlike analogue recording. “remastering” usually doesn’t improve the sound of analogue recordings and the signal processing tends to throw the baby out with the bath water.
    Another point with regard to higher res digital is that it is being developed for the emerging audiophile download market where it offers better claimed SQ over CD. This is welcome, but until high resolution downloading reaches the mass market, record companies still need to make a profit. Their solution in the meantime is to cynically fabricate a so called vinyl revival, transferring these digitised masters onto vinyl re-issues and hype them up. Good condition original pressings are likely to sound better than these expensive digitised re-issues.

    • Thanks for your comment, interesting read. The recording processes are a mystery to me so it was good to understand a little more of how this works. I had always thought that re-mastering = a better audio experience, but I can see that vinyl would sound better using the original analogue sources.

      I guess if nothing else, the record companies are masters of enticing us to part with our cash with these shiny box sets. I have been guilty many times of buying digitally re-mastered reissues and effectively paying twice for the same album. But then again I was always a sucker in the 80’s for picture discs, alternate versions etc.

      Does the weight of vinyl have much to do with sound quality? I picked up an original release of Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights LP and the vinyl was so flimsy, instinct says that a 180gram slab would improve on the quality?

      • Hi Paper Lion,
        With regard to the weight of the vinyl. There is no definitive answer to this, as per my previous comment so many other factors will influence the final SQ, this includes the recording, mastering, cutting, plating, pressing etc etc. there is a lot to potentially get wrong before the record is even pressed.

        There is a trend at the moment to offer so-called audiophile “180gm” pressings as these do feel more substantial in the hand and give a perception of something of quality. Rather like say selling a beer in a bottle with a fancy label and charging twice the price for the same product that comes in a can. The quality of the vinyl compound used and the care taken in its manufacture is more important than the thickness or weight of the pressing.

        That said, back in the 50’s and 60’s, the standard was for records to be pressed on what would be termed “180g” and shorter pressing runs, records were also far more expensive in real terms than they are today, including the inflated re-issue market prices. Vinyl quality deteriorated during the 70’s largely due to the oil crisis which saw record manufacturers trying to control production costs by using cheaper quality and/or recycled vinyl, this helped pave the way for the introduction of the “perfect sound forever” CD format, but don’t get me started on that thread!! Collectors of Jamaican pressed records will often have noticed how much heavier or thicker the vinyl is on original pressings compared to the rock and pop market, those collectors will also be aware that the pressing quality of many Jamaican pressings often leaves much to be desired! A fine example that thickness or weight of vinyl does not make for a perfect record.

        Now here comes the contradiction!- Assuming all else in the manufacturing process is done to a high standard and quality vinyl is used for the pressing, then thicker vinyl can potentially bring it can be more stable and resistant to warping, the thicker vinyl can allow for a more dynamic cut, distortion through stylus mistracking can be reduced due to the deeper groove and flatter surface. However, some “modern” turntables don’t play thicker vinyl well as it changes the vertical tracking angle (VTA) between the tone arm and record, so a turntable that allows for proper tone arm settings is recommended. Another factor that those manufacturers currently jumping on the bandwagon miss is that you cant just plop a puck of “180g” vinyl into a record press that is set up to take say “120g” or lower, that’s a recipe for disaster.

        I’m not saying all re-issues are bad, in some cases they are worthwhile, particularly if the original was substandard in some way and the re-issue sets about improving on that. What I look for in a re-issue is that every effort has been made to keep it faithful to the original in terms of manufacture i.e using original master or best possible source and an all analogue chain where mastering from an analogue source. They are out there, with a number of genuine audiophile companies committed to this approach but you need to have a discerning eye and ear. Be sceptical of descriptions labelling “digitally remastered on 180g audiophile vinyl” its meaningless marketing speak. That “free” MP3 download card that’s often included in todays vinyl releases is very telling and revealing, what you are actually sometimes being hoodwinked into buying is in fact an MP3 file that has been pressed to vinyl, which in my book amounts to blatant fraud.
        We should also be asking ourselves, who did the “re-mastering”? Someone who was present at the original recording? Original engineer? Someone who at least understands the music and knows how to EQ it correctly so it sounds how the artist intended? or just some generic studio knob twiddler who’s only interest is in churning out the next re-issue on behalf of his/her paymaster.
        Oh, and one other very important consideration where we are dealing with past catalogue music. Original pressings are most likely to sound better than any re-issue (assuming the original was manufactured without fault) is that the analogue master tape will have been fresh. Analogue magnetic tape deteriorates over time and needs careful storage. So lets take the Catch A Fire album in this box set for example. The master tapes for this were made about 43 years ago, so compare an early pressing made from the fresh master tape or a re-issue made from a 43 year old tape! (assuming they even took the care to use original masters)Which do you think is likely to sound better?


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